Hung Out To Dry
59“It was such crappy conditions, and it felt good even if I was shivering the entire race, it felt good. After seven hours on the bike, I saw that everyone in the break was pretty exhausted, I knew I had it all good.” Dominique Rollin after winning an epic cold wet windy stage of Tour of California
While others suffer in harsh weather, excitement runs through the hard men. You hear excuses pre-race of being too lean to endure such conditions, yet winners don’t appear to have more body fat. Perhaps it’s attention to replace extra energy lost due to thermal stress but for sure it’s tenacious psychology. Where fear is sensed, the fearless come to the fore since fighting for the front needs fitness but also mental activation.
But if caught in the screaming single file gutter dead last and on the rivet, you mustn’t focus on your placement. Instead race only for the wheel ahead trusting that a lull will come or anything in fact which relieves your lungs from being north of your throat. However, if caught in the screaming single file gutter dead last and not on the rivet, then you must seek ways to move beyond this death chair or you’ll be hung out to dry. Unless caught in the screaming single file gutter dead last not on the rivet with better steady state than surge fitness and you know how to shoot the gaps. Then you could actually enjoy this tunnel vision tongue on the top tube speed of the front who are obviously fitter than you. And your mood may be brightened because you prefer that it’s above freezing with horizontal rain instead of single digit wind chills faced with only mounds of clothing for company. Certainly if caught in the screaming single file gutter dead last enjoying steady pace, change of weather, fewer clothes and more riders, you are in the best spot for worry-free spitting, considerate not to add to the conditions of those near. Now if caught in the screaming single file gutter dead last steady state pace, change of weather, spitting happily with fewer clothes and about to hit cobbles, then the skill of shooting gaps will come in handy as you careen around the carnage of your competitors. This additional debris along with small animals out of hibernation and into your roadway are another part of the season’s conditions.60
Otherwise, stay on the front. Remember no matter how hard it is, when it’s over, the experience will never come back again quite like that.
Prayer for Spring Conditions
“We need to be energetically at work…while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over…He said this and then spit in the dust…” 61John 9:5-6
We are thankful for how seasonal conditions add yet another dimension to cycling’s variables. We pray for safety, a little toughness and tenacity to endure the gutter. We ask for a blessed and Happy Spring!
Ponder Do I have a relentless will for the front? Affirm I fight my way back again and again. Watch for spring’s blessings through its special hardships and savor the hard moments as opportunities to shine.
59“Interview with Dom Rollin after winning Stage 4 of ToC,” video interview courtesy of youtube and www.canadiancyclist.com on February 21, 2008
60“Mirror Incident,” by Beth Leasure from Spok’n Word, race report from Europe, 1995-1996
61The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson